Three Poems by Misak Medzarents

Translated by Diana Der-Hovanessian

Misak Medzarents was born in Akn in 1888 and died of tuberculosis at 22. He and Vahan Derian are the two most musical poets in Armenian literature and are, therefore, the most daunting to translate. Diana Der-Hovanessian, an American-born poet, has translated their work, she says, “with trepidation and admiration.” Variations of the poems appeared in Anthology of Armenian Poetry (Columbia U. Press) and the Derian poems were in Coming To Terms, published by Ashod Press.

                                                   
TWILIGHT
     Like a girl in saffron walking under pine trees,
     like a girl where the evening breeze blows
     toward the flowering pomegranate grove
     the dusk is passing and the day slowly goes.
     Twilight falls, like sweet wilting iris
     in varying shades of blue, it goes,
     slowly dying, folding itself over|
     a thin stamen of hope, the light flows.
     Then it is dark, like my soul left alone,
     the soul that has been so long in the dark
     where the light of dreams fled long ago
    leaving it, my soul, in the rain, looking for home.

                                                ***                          
                         
 LOVE SONG
     Affectionate winds light up the blossoms
     around me, making a festival
                                        tiny lanterns of light.
     This night is a feast of luminous roads.
     With sweet balsam, with sweet hashish
                      the winds make me drunk tonight.
     Sweet flower kisses fill the air
      with perfumed petals and seeds
     …a surfeit of everything except|
                        the one and only kiss I need.

                                 ***
                                     
THIS HOUR WITH YOU
     If I could keep, could keep
     this hour forever as a part of me,
     and distill, distill this hour
     as the essence of harmony;
     if I could feel the way I do
     this hour, all my life,
     benign, bemused and blessed
     as I am here with you
     and then could write and share
     the beauty of this hour
     I could wash my life clean
     and scoured of every care.

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Guest Contributor

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5 Comments

  1. Beautiful poetry! Thank you for sharing these with your readers. I will definitely check out the Columnbia U. and Ashod Press publications.

  2. Not an easy task to translate
    From soul to soul…
    As every poet has a unique soul
    and each language has its own soul

    Diana wants to unite the souls
    And create a new soul
    This what she imagined …
    Believed…did… 

    As the humanity… 
    Must be based on…!
    Unification of souls 
    Birthing a new breed…

    But soullesses…
    Are always there
    Arrives to separate
    But can’t do in every case… 

    Sylva-MD-Poetry

    April 19, 2011
     

  3. Please clear the first and keep the new one


    Translation from Soul to Soul
    Pursued by the Poetess Diana Der-Hovanessian
    for the Armenian Poet Misak Medzarents poems
    Who died younger than John Keats (1795-1821)
    From the same disease, Tuberculosis
    Which is declining…
    accept in immune deficient cases.

    Translation From Armenian Soul To English

    Not an easy task to translate
    From soul to soul…
    As every poet has a unique soul
    and each language has its own soul

    Diana wants to unite the souls
    And create a new soul
    This what she imagined …
    Believed…did… 

    As the humanity… 
    Must be based on…!
    Unification of souls 
    Birthing a new breed…

    But those soullesses…
    Are always there 
    Arrives to separate
    But… I do wonder… 
    Are they able
    To do in every case…!

    Sylva-MD-Poetry
    April 19, 2011

  4. Hello, I’m a Spanish teacher and one of my students is from Armenia. I would like her reading a poem in armenian at our Literature festival next 23rd April and I found one from Missak MEDZARENTS called ACACIAS. Would you mind send me this poem in its original version?
    Thank you very much in advance
    Joana

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